Google Rebrands ‘Ideas’ Think Tank as ‘Jigsaw’

The tech-focused think tank previously known as Google Ideas is being rebranded as a technology incubator called Jigsaw. The change will see the organization focus on ways to use technology to tackle geopolitical challenges, ranging from online censorship to violent extremism, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt said yesterday in a post on Medium.

Founded in 2010, Google Ideas has been led by Washington, D.C.-insider-turned-Googler Jared Cohen, who will continue to lead Jigsaw as president. Cohen began working at the U.S. Department of State under Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and continued on when Hillary Clinton assumed that role after Barack Obama was elected president. Cohen joined Google when Ideas was launched.

We contacted Google to learn more about the new mission for Jigsaw but were told by a spokesperson that the company was not commenting beyond Schmidt's Medium post. However, she added, "the mission will not significantly change."

A 'Complex Puzzle of Challenges'

"As a technology incubator, Jigsaw will be investing in and building technology to expand access to information for the world's most vulnerable populations and to defend against the world's most challenging security threats," Schmidt noted in his post. He added that the name was chosen because it "acknowledges that the world is a complex puzzle of physical and digital challenges." The name also "reflects our belief that collaborative problem-solving yields the best solutions," Schmidt said.

Jigsaw will continue to pursue ongoing Google Ideas' projects such as Project Shield, which allows Webmasters to thwart distributed denial of service attacks by serving their sites through Google's infrastructure; the Investigative Dashboard document search tool for journalists; and the Digital Attack Map, which displays data-based threats on a global map in real-time.

Other issues that the Ideas/Jigsaw research will continue to focus on include the global arms trade, money laundering, police brutality, terrorism,...

Comments are closed.